Some of the game’s best female talent will converge on Mackay this weekend for the Harvey Norman Queensland Country trials.
Teams selected from Central and Northern regions will compete for spots in the representative side as part of games scheduled for Saturday afternoon at BB Print Stadium, Mackay.
The Northern line-up will be headlined by Jillaroo pairing Heather Ballinger and Brittany Breayley. Both players have origins in North Queensland and have indicated immense pride in playing for their home region.
This pride is something former Jillaroo and Mackay resident Renae Kunst is all too familiar with. Recently retired Kunst, in her role as a NRL Regional Development Manager, has been instrumental in developing the women’s game in North Queensland.
“I was part of a group of players that were part of the original Mackay women’s competition more than a decade ago,” Kunst said.
“It went in to recess for a while, but with strong junior playing numbers the competition is back up and running.
“Playing for my region was something I was immensely proud of, but there were always limited opportunities.
“This new pathway in the regions is hugely positive for the female game as players are able to stay in their home region and not only represent their communities, but play in front of family and friends.”
The Central Crows side will also be strong on talent with national experience.
Chelsea Baker, Kody House and Annette Brander will all line up for the Crows in the main game.
The day also features the best emerging talent from both regions.
QRL Northern Division (Region) Manager Scott Nosworthy indicated that the emerging program was a great link between the hugely successful junior representative program and the senior ranks.
“A number of the girls selected in both Northern and Central emerging squads have previously been part of regional teams that have competed in State Junior Carnivals.
“This next wave of talent is entering the senior age groups with a lot more playing experience under their belt and as a result the standard of play continues to rise.” Nosworthy said.
Game Day Details:
Venue: BB Print Stadium (Casey Ave Mackay)
Date: Saturday, May 19
Times: Emerging 2pm, A Grade 3.30pm